Secret History of Western Sexual Mysticism
Sacred Practices and Spiritual Marriage
By (author) Arthur Versluis
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Secret History of Western Sexual Mysticism by Arthur Versluis
Book DescriptionBeginning with the ancient Greek Mystery traditions, Gnosticism and the practices in early Christianity, Arthur Versluis uncovers the secret line of Western sexual mysticism that, like the Tantra of the East, seeks transcendence or union with God through sexual practices. Throughout antiquity, and right into the present day, sexuality has played an important, if a largely hidden, role in religious traditions and practices. This includes not only Christian but also kabbalistic and hermetic alchemical currents of sexual mysticism, many discussed together here for the first time. In the Mystery tradition of hieros gamos (sacred marriage) and the Gnostic tradition of spiritual marriage, we see the possibility of divine union in which sexual union is the principal sign or symbol. Key to these practices is the inner or archetypal union of above and below, the intermingling of the revelatory divine world with the mundane earthly one. Versluis shows that these secret currents of sexual mysticism helped fuel the rise of the troubadours and their erotic doctrine, the esoteric teachings of Jacob Bohme in the late 16th century, the 19th-century utopian communities of John Humphrey Noyes and Thomas Lake Harris, the free love movement of the 20th century, and the modern writings of Denis de Rougemont and Alan Watts. * Reveals the secret sexual practices that have been used since ancient Greece to achieve mystical union with God * Details the sects and individuals who transmitted the radical sexual practices that orthodox Christianity never completely silenced * Distinguishes between sexual magic and sexual mysticism
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781594772122
(230mm x 152mm x 11mm)
Imprint: Destiny Books,U.S.
Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company
Publish Date: 21-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Arthur Versluis
Physics of Transfigured Light, Hardback (August 2016)
Reveals the Hermetic underpinnings of modern scientific theories
American Gurus, Hardback (May 2014)
Versluis shows how the convergence of Asian religions and Western mysticism produce the contemporary phenomenon of "spontaneously enlightened" gurus in America.
New Inquisitions, Hardback (August 2006)
Shows the connections between heretic hunting in early and medieval Christianity and the emergence of totalitarianism in the 20th century. This book traces heretic-hunting as a phenomenon through the middle ages and the 20th century, showing how the same inquisitional modes of thought recur both on the political Left and on the political Right.
Esoteric Origins of the American Renaissance, Hardback (April 2001)» View all books by Arthur Versluis
In this work, Arthur Versluis shows that many writers of the so-called American Renaissance were inspired by Western esoteric currents. Before offering his analysis of the esoteric elements in the writings of figures from the American Renaissance, Versluis offers an overview of esotericism in Europe and its offshoots in colonial America.
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Author Biography - Arthur Versluis
Arthur Versluis is the editor-in-chief of Esoterica and the founding president of the Association for the Study of Esotericism. He is the author of numerous books, including Sacred Earth, Restoring Paradise, and The New Inquisitions. He lives in Michigan where he is a professor of American Studies at Michigan State University.
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